Friday, March 30, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Black Horse Designs

I'm still in the process of designing some projects for the class I'll be doing next month. I'm not quite happy with the one on the box so I may make some changes to the one that will go inside it.
By the time I finish all of the sides of the box I may come up with a pattern that I like better. If nothing else this little boxed set (which will include several more horses) will make a lovely gift. If I do like the designs I come with they may become part of other classes or projects. Everything is a WIN,WIN Situation.
All that remains now is to decide whether they should be left as they are or turned into Christmas ornaments.

Julia's tips for painting with acrylics

Do it Now!
Acrylic paints dry quickly and will be permanent so if you don't like what you've just painted, wash it off with soap and water right away.
(Be sure you've dried the area before you begin to paint again)

Moving back and forth between several projects at once will minimize mistakes because you'll be less likely to smear wet paint.

The type of stroke you make depends on the amount of pressure you put on the brush so best results come when you relax and there's less pressure on you.

You can paint over acrylic paints many, many times so if you don't like the results you can always change them.

Have Fun:
The whole idea is to enjoy yourself, time passes quickly when you're painting and even when you don't create great art you create something for yourself an others. It gives you something to talk about or to share.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Before and After

Making something out of the mess

 This first design was made from bits of photos on my worktable along with some colored paper and marker. Yes, I plan to use it to write letters on but I'm sure there are lots of other possibilities as well.

This page was more fun. I cut up my colored pencil horse designs and added them to a picture of a chair I'd painted over a decade ago that also had horses on it. Of course at that point I couldn't resist adding more colored pencil to pull the whole thing together and finish it off with a bit or marker to outline some areas.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Attack of the creeping craft monster

I spent the morning and a bit of the afternoon doing floral arrangements over at the senior center. Yes, I forgot my camera...and my earrings as I made my escape from the mess that is my house these days.
I even designed a shirt for my Zazzle store that says "the creeping craft monster ate my house"
Inspiration can be found in some pretty funny places and I have to say it's about the only thing you can find in here these days.

Painted Horse Designs

Working out some of your designs on paper or with your computer can save a lot of time and help you avoid making mistakes in your painting.

Monday, March 26, 2012

37 degrees and rain

It's cool and rainy in the garden so I'm indoors with a hot cup of cider with a cinnamon stick in it.
I had errands to run so I picked up a little spinning flower that I found in Target and put it in a planter full of hosta in the front garden. I enjoy watching the wind hit it and wish I'd have been able to buy a whole armful. The other thing that caught my eye were metal yard decorations in the shape of the pinwheels we all played with as kids--I wanted them in every color! What fun!
 I put that flower in a pot of hosta, it should be really pretty soon.
 I made myself comfortable while cleaning out around the lilac bushes.
Well, I suppose it's time to settle down and get back to work. I hope you've found a bright spot and a bit of fun in your day too.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Garden update

Today's big excitement was finding out that one of the lilac bushes that I moved last year is going to have flowers this season. I got busy with the roses and haven't had time to check the rest of the lilacs yet.
It's sunny but cool so I'm still attempting to transplant a few things that have popped up in the wrong places. Yes, there's a lot of that around here. Oh well, it keeps me out of trouble and of course keeps my mind off my troubles as well.
Whenever you don't find me playing in the dirt I'm covered with paint. I'm a messy girl and happy that way-how about you?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Humming along

It's kind of funny to be designing and painting Dala Horses when I've just seen pictures and one brought in by a friend. I'm just kind of "doing my own thing". It's kind of like not knowing the words to a song and trying to sing along anyway . la,la, la la

Who cares? As long as it's fun.  It gives me a lot to look forward to as I really discover Dala Horses ( a friend tells me there's a great collection of them at The American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis) and begin to study the tradition.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Latest Garden Photos

 Believe it or not, this is NOT a planter. It is one of the window wells on the basement. Stuff just keeps coming up there, I guess I need to clean it out more often.
 The lilacs have come quite a long way in the last few days. I guess they're enjoying all of rain...

The chives seem pretty happy too.

Free Garden Project Step by Step

 Round up any supplies that may be laying around your property. Today I found an old piece of deck material and a plastic pot.
 At the edge of my yard were a lot of common lilies so 1. we dug them up. 2. we dropped the decking in the area we'd dug up. 3. we dropped the lilies in the pot.
Later this summer we may add some annuals for color and in that metal holder I've got a pot that I plan to fill with tulips that came up in one of my rosebushes.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The First Try

The Next Step

Now that I've finished the box, I'm doing some more work with the designs I came up with to paint some matching horses to put inside the box. There may be some difference between the way a design works up on a flat surface and the way it works on a 3 D object. The only way to find out for sure is to grab my brushes and give it a try. I'll post results as I've got them. Wish me luck!

Finished Cigar Box Project with Horses

 Top and Front
 Top and Back
 Side and Front
Side and Back

The rain set in

We got enough rain on Monday to get the rain barrel (which we'd just set up for the season) 3/4 full so I was back working indoors (painting that box and the horse I'd sanded the day before).
Yesterday I did some new bows for the floral arrangements over at the senior center and was just getting ready to join the painting group when my sister came in to town and I headed home to visit with her.
The weather was overcast but we had coffee in the garden and watched the birds and the squirrels for a while anyway.
I often joke that I do all of my entertaining outdoors because it's cleaner than my least I THINK I'm joking ;-)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Breezy in the garden

It's too windy to paint out here yet but it's great weather to sand those wooden horses. No worries about dust that way.

Tradition with a twist

Now that IS a Horse of a Different Color!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Getting the most from s scrap of paper

This little drawing is less than 5 inches square and by going to Zazzle I was able to make a greeting card, stickers, a mouse pad, tote bag, ipad cover, grocery bag, pillow, pet bowl, napkin, key chain, note card, kitchen towel, shirt and a place
mat. 15 new products and counting.

Why is this important? Because you can put your art on products there too. It's another great reason to check out my store

Still horsing around

1. I liked the look of that top horse so I decided to see how it would look in different colors.
2. It's always good to get your pencils out and try new things.
3. I added more color and will try this one on a few products in my store.

4. Eventually I'll paint this design on one of my wooden horses.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Garden Notes

 The weather got up to 77 degrees today so I couldn't resist spending some time rounding up planters and checking on the bushes.
 It looks like some of the lilac bushes that I transplanted last year are coming along fine-don't you think so? it's just too bad that they didn't all make it, I had hoped for a better survival rate...
 I transplanted a few climbing roses and hope they'll take hold and fill in the lattice panel and chain link fence-wish me luck!
I was a bit surprised to see that the squirrels have been chewing on some of the plastic planter boxes and was even more surprised to see a hornet, 2 box elder bugs and a mosquito.

The wildlife I was happiest to see out in the garden was me!

A few last winter projects

I spent this morning crocheting another hat for that program at the senior center that provides winter gear to local children who need it. It's like most of the other hats I crochet so I didn't bother to shoot a picture of it.
Back at home I was enjoying the birds again and being outside so I began moving planters and things around and made a quick trip to the store to pick up liners for the wire baskets.
There's a lot of work ahead so I treated myself to a new trowel and may even splurge on a new pair of garden gloves this year-I'm the only person I know that actually wears holes in them!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Improving weather

The daytime temperatures have been in the 60's and 70's the birds are singing and we've been able to open a few windows on the house so I've been distracted from the art (except for a while this afternoon when I cut up a garden catalog to decorate my mail with).
I've started cleaning up the garden and doing a bit of transplanting. It might be a bit early for that but there are so many plants here that I can gamble on loosing a few to get a jump on the season.
It's hard to tell but it looks like at least one of the birdhouses in the front yard is occupied already. It's fun to see them skip around between the houses, feeders and birdbaths.
I have yet to catch any of this with my camera but I will keep trying.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Before and After

Sometimes I just don't know when to stop. Believe it or not I'm STILL adding things to this.